Editing guidelines

For Instructions on Transcription Software, see below.

Essentially, excessive editing is not required since we aim for an expansive conversational style which captures the spirit of the exchange. Think of a cross between The Paris Review's in-depth interviews and NPR's Fresh Air.

We trust editors to use their own judgment, eliminating most instances of filler words or expressions of hesitation (um, er, you know, etc.) so as long as the interview retains a natural conversational tone.

Sometimes an interviewee will repeat an expression for emphasis. Unless it is an obvious redundancy, we generally retain repetitions because we wish to give of glimpse of the writer’s thinking process and speaking style.

Neil Gaiman: When I was a kid, that was how I assumed the way the world worked. When I was a kid, that was the way that I saw. (Here, we prefer to retain Gaiman's repetition and natural rhythm and remain faithful to the words he used.)

Excessive edit: When I was a kid, that was how I assumed the way the world worked. That was what I saw. (In most cases, we prefer to retain the writer's actual words and not put words in their mouth. However, there are times when an interviewee hesitates, revises, or changes their mind mid-sentence. In those cases, we trust you to use your judgment and eliminate unnecessary or unclear words.)

On a side note, we also provide material to literary conferences and share material with students writing theses, and they have told us this material is very useful as the approach is in-depth, literary, and not the usual approach adopted by news websites.



We recommend using the freeware Express Scribe:,0301-3276-24726.html

If any words are inaudible or difficult to hear, please just mark [...] and, if you can, give an approximate time stamp, i.e. [3:02 ...]. Sometimes an interviewee will mention a book title or proper name which is difficult to discern. Please indicate with approximate time stamp [proper name/book title, inaudible, 3:02]

USEFUL SHORTCUTS USING EXPRESS SCRIBE on a Mac. (Commands may vary for PC.)

Command+Shift+T         Create Time Stamp
Command+J            Jump to Time


Go to PREFERENCES > System-Wide Hot-Keys

Note: Do not use shortcuts already in use by your system. i.e. if Command+C is your system short cut for copying text, and you create a new short cut using Command+C to fast forward, then you will no longer be able to use Command+C to copy text.

Some recommended short cuts for Mac
Key            Command
Alt/Option + B         Step back 5s
Alt/Option + F    Step back 5s
Alt/Option + P    Play
Alt/Option + S    Stop


Would it be okay for me to make edits for clarity and concision?
Interviewees generally appreciate receiving a transcript where small changes have been made for clarity or correct usage. When completed, your transcription is then sent to the interviewee so they may make additions or amendments.

There are a few sections of the interview which seem informal and off topic. Should they be edited?
It will be great if you can just underline any passages which you may feel are off topic. And then the interviewee will decide if they should be removed or retained to capture the spirit of the conversation.

What is the size of artwork gifted to volunteers? And when will volunteers receive it?
Depending on the length of transcription(s), aspect of The Creative Process you are participating in, or author interview you worked on, the size of the artwork will vary. Artworks gifted to editorial assistants are valued up $250. As the artist is currently engaged in interviews, educational initiatives, and producing artworks for the travelling exhibition, she will only be able to complete artworks gifted to volunteers when all the transcriptions are complete, sometime in 2018. Artworks will be mailed to the participating publications for distribution to volunteers who assisted in the editing process.

I’d like to assist in another aspect of The Creative Process.
Great. In addition to editorial, there are many areas where you might get involved. Just fill in the form on our Join Us page and let us know your area of interest. As certain aspects of the project may require greater time commitment, you may be gifted a more significant artwork in appreciation of your time.